Why Digital Marketing Best Practices Make You Mediocre

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Why Digital Marketing Best Practices Make You Mediocre

No one makes it to the cover of Inc Magazine by doing ordinary work. We all understand this, but at the same time, there’s a deep seated drive within the digital marketing space to learn and emulate best practices. That’s especially true as we experiment with new channels. What’s the best way to advertise on Twitter? How do I improve my ROI on Facebook ads? How do I grow my newsletter list? The challenge is that by emulating best practices as a foundation of our digital marketing strategy, we are aspiring to mediocrity.

What Are Digital Marketing Best Practices Anyway?

Don’t get me wrong. Best practices are important and an excellent place to begin forming a strategy. That’s especially true if you’re marketing for a small business and don’t have the depth of experience a full marketing team gives you. However, best practices for Internet marketing should always be the beginning. They should never become the end goal.

At their core, best practices are what everyone else has already learned to do in order to achieve the most average results. While average results are certainly better than a failed campaign or weak overall strategy, they don’t help you move ahead of your competition. Neither will they help you score that big win or spike in sales you dream about.

If you think of best practices as an Internet playbook for marketers, then you need to realize that everyone’s reading the same book. Playing by the same rules as everyone else means no one has an advantage. Instead, think of best practices as a jumping off point. Learn them, store them in the back of your mind and then make them better.

Track Your Metrics To Make Your Best Practices Better

Every company, every project is different. That’s why the best place to learn how to innovate and refine your digital marketing strategy begins with yourself. If you don’t have an established project to track and review your metrics over time, you’re losing. Which social media posts are driving clicks vs. just engagement? What blog content is driving traffic over time thanks to better SEO keyword targeting? How are subscribers engaging with the newsletter?

Even if you just ask one of these questions each month and really dig into the metrics, you’ll begin building a successful digital marketing strategy that works better for you, regardless of what everyone else is doing. Then start experimenting. Try something new and see how your audiences respond. Maybe if flops. Maybe it soars. The greatest place for digital marketing professionals to learn how to innovate is by doing the work and building a practice of learning from their successes as well as their failures. That’s how you start setting new best practices for everyone else and leave them trying to catch up with you.